First arrest in Sanal Kumar case: Accused Kerala cop Harikumar’s friend held

Satheesh Kumar, who allegedly aided DySP Harikumar’s escape was arrested from Tamil Nadu.
First arrest in Sanal Kumar case: Accused Kerala cop Harikumar’s friend held
First arrest in Sanal Kumar case: Accused Kerala cop Harikumar’s friend held
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In the first and significant headway in the Sanal Kumar death probe, the Kerala Crime Branch has arrested a man identified as Satheesh Kumar from Tirparappu in Tamil Nadu on Saturday night. According to the Crime Branch officials, Satheesh is a close friend of the prime accused B Harikumar, the former deputy SP of Neyyatinkara, and the second accused Binu. He allegedly aided their escape and provided them with new sim cards as well.

Incidentally, hours after the arrest, Kerala Police Chief Loknath Behera gave Crime Branch IG Sreejith the responsibility to lead the investigation team, on Sunday. While the IG was in a meeting, Crime Branch SP KM Antony, who was leading the investigation earlier, spoke to TNM.

“Satheesh Kumar runs a rented lodge in Tirparappu in Tamil Nadu. He is a close friend of Harikumar and Binu. Soon after the incident, the two accused reached Satheesh’s lodge the next morning around 8.30 am. By then, Satheesh was aware of the incident and its seriousness through the news channels,” SP Antony told TNM.

Satheesh then used his Aadhaar card to buy two sim cards - a BSNL sim and an Idea sim. “The two left the next day. The numbers were active for a day. However, since November 7, their phones have been switched off. We believe they have taken new sim cards,” the SP said.

Satheesh has also been accused of arranging a vehicle for the two accused. “Ramesh, who helps Satheesh in his work, drove Harikumar and Binu to their next destination. However, Ramesh, too, has become untraceable,” adds the SP.  

While the investigation is still underway, Satheesh Kumar will now be produced before the District Magistrate at his residence on Sunday evening.

“Meanwhile, we are trying to trace their whereabouts of Harikumar and Binu using the location of the phone networks of their second sim cards,” he said, adding, “We are trying and are confident that we will find them.”

32-year-old Sanal Kumar died on Monday night following an altercation with DySp Harikumar over their parked vehicle. During the argument, Harikumar pushed Sanal on the road, after which he was hit by a fast approaching car, said witnesses. Soon after the incident, Harikumar, along with his friend Binu, fled the scene, while the ambulance carrying an injured Sanal Kumar first went to the Neyyattinkara police station instead of the Medical College.

Binu has been named an accused in the case for helping Harikumar escape.

The DySP was suspended following the incident and a case has been registered against him under IPC Section 302 (punishment for murder).

Although Sanal's wife Viji and family are content that the investigation has been handed over to IG Sreejith, they are hoping for a stronger team. According to reports, Sanal Kumar's family will submit a petition to the Kerala High Court to either conduct the investigation under the supervision of the court or hand over the case to CBI.

The investigation team is still questioning the family of Harikumar and Binu. Earlier, Harikumar’s wife was questioned and their house in Attingal in Thiruvananthapuram was also searched.

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